Photovoltaic Surge Protection
The debate over a more widespread global adoption of green energy technology in order to produce electricity for public consumption, has been generally tied to the issues of pollution and economics. The need to create cleaner methods of producing power is acknowledged by nearly everyone, because it is obvious that pollution is an issue. The debate hinges on the economic discussion, the real issue being if the added cost of producing power in a cleaner way is worth the amount of damage that is being avoided. Because there is no consensus on the specific amount of damage that is being done to our atmosphere, the discussion always comes back to the economics. It is difficult to justify paying more for the same product when you cannot specifically see damage that is caused by cheaper manufacturing processes, and therefore public support ends up on the side of the less expensive. It is confusing to many people as to why a manufacturing process that does not involve the purchase of a fuel source is more expensive than one that does. The answer lies in the physical makeup of photovoltaic systems that are used to produce industrial and residential power. The large and flat solar panels that collect sunlight that is ultimately used as the fuel source also makes them a prime target for lightning strikes as well as ongoing degradation due to exposure. The periodic replacement of these solar panels as they degrade or are destroyed is expected, and as costs are reduced with regards to the manufacture of solar cells, progress is made towards cheaper power being produced. An additional move forward is the understanding that the integration of more technologically advanced solar surge protection devices can also bring down the associated production costs. Solar panels and their control systems are damaged by both direct and indirect lightning strikes. The direct strike produces damage that is almost unavoidable, but the indirect strike produces damage as a result of the subsequent power surge that can travel along connectivity lines for great distances. This transient power surge has the ability to damage the circuitry of control equipment, which is attached to the exposed panels, ultimately adding to the costs that are produced due to lightning strikes. Through the integration of more technologically advanced surge protection equipment manufactured by Raycap, we can significantly reduce the amount of expected damage each quarter, ultimately resulting in the ability to sell power at a lower cost and still maintain profitability. Raycap products use metal oxide varistors (MOV) and other technologies which have the ability to limit lightning surges and other grid-caused overvoltages in a way it has been previously unheard of. Raycap’s Strikesorb products exceed the UL 1449 standard for SPDs which has been the acceptable standard since 1985. Through the integration of superior surge protection technologies, we are seeing repair and maintenance costs be pushed to lower levels and are able to prove over time that (through investment into technology) we will ultimately produce both a cleaner and less expensive power production method.